Saturday, 16 February 2013

A Better Mousetrap

Here is some of what we worked on, This Week In Gifted!

Building a Better Mousetrap

In the Tuesday classes and the Thursday morning classes we imagined that we worked for the company Pest-B-Gone.  Our task was to try to come up with a better mouse trap than the traditional snap trap.  In small groups students went through the process of brainstorming ideas.  We've been working on brainstorming the past few weeks and the students are really getting to be pros!  Then each group went through the difficult process of narrowing down the choices until they were left with their top choice.  We discussed different ways to narrow the choices and the problems that can arise (eg feeling like not everyone's voice is being heard, everyone choosing their own ideas).  In general the groups did a great job of compromising, discussing and trying to come up with good solutions.  Oh, and some of their mouse trap ideas sounded like real winners!

Inventor Projects

This week Eli shared his Inventor and Invention themed Jeopardy game with the Tuesday morning class.  He did a great job of following the Jeopardy format and he was able to involve all of the class in playing the game. 

In the Thursday morning class we were treated to comic strips from Zach, Tyler and Jordan.  All three boys demonstrated that they can spin a good story in comic book form!  Zach had some fun hiding a chicken in almost every frame, Jordan included a classmate as a character in his strip and used some neat special effects and Tyler broke out of the mold and had a not so happy ending. 

Also in the Thursday morning class, Gina shared her diorama with us.  She created a scene with the inventor of the light sphere, Gary Fong, at home with his family and his invention.  Her peers liked her attention to detail; she crafted miniature teddy bears for Gary Fong's twin babies and she also had little milk bottles with spilled milk.

More MaKey MaKey

The Wednesday afternoon class got another opportunity to work with the MaKey MaKeys.  These grade K - 2 students continue to impress me with their independence and ability to deal with challenging tasks!  

Scratch

Scratch logo
Students in the Thursday afternoon class got the opportunity to try out Scratch.  Here is how Scratch is described on the Scratch website:
"Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. "
Students quickly figured out how to:
  • import characters and backgrounds
  • record sounds and include them in their program
  • make characters move around, change colours and even dance to music
It was an afternoon of exploration and I am looking forward to seeing what students create in the classes to come.  And as one of the students pointed out, Scratch integrates well with the MaKey MaKey.  Hmm, it appears that my master plan is no longer a secret ;-)

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